17:21 - November 09, 2020
News ID: 3473073
TEHRAN (IQNA) – A woman from Plymouth, a port city in England, who recently converted to Islam has spoken out about receiving verbal and physical abuse which left her fearing for her family's safety.



As new figures suggest hate crime is on the increase across Devon and Cornwall, Emma Evans told ITV News she feels people are judging her simply because of the way she looks and her religious belief.

Our interview with Emma was filmed before the new lockdown restrictions came into force across England.

Describing the first time she was abused, Emma said: "I was in a store with my two youngest children and a woman was looking at me. Then she started shouting 'How can you be dressed like that? You've got to be a terrorist.' The more I tried to get away from her the more she kept coming towards me, and she spat in my face. Luckily whoever she was with came and took her away."

Not long before this dreadful incident, Emma, who was born and brought up in Plymouth, had converted to Islam.

It was a life-changing decision which she says has mostly made her feel happier and more at peace.

But Emma was not prepared for the reaction it sparked from a minority of strangers as she went about her life. Just weeks later she was in a service station with her family when she noticed a group of men giving her hostile looks.

"You're used to it, you don't think anything of it, but then the staring became quite intimidating. I actually called my eldest son and said 'Can you trace where I am? Can you track my phone?' I felt really scared.

"Religion isn't about color, it's not about where you come from, and everybody should be free to express their faith whether it's wearing a cross on a chain or me with my hijab."

Sadly, Emma's experience is far from unique. Devon and Cornwall Police say over the last year they received 1,856 reports of hate crimes, up from 1,800 from the same period the year before.

Ch Supt Jim Gale, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "We want people to have the confidence and the trust in us to do something about it. We will take people's reports really very seriously and we will provide the support to people as they progress through that criminal justice system."

Julie Paget, from the Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council, said: "I think it's really important that people who are experiencing any hate crime report it to the police. Because statistics are not always reflective of the true nature of racism, and that's something we need to get more people reporting."


Source: ITV


Tags: Muslim ، woman ، Islam ، Plymouth
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